Internet marketers love “the sales funnel”. The idea suggests that you get as many people in at the top of the funnel by offering something free, such as an ebook. Then you use a range of marketing techniques to get some of those people to buy another book from you. Then, those who have bought the book can be lured into buying something slightly more expensive. Each time you try to sell something else you eliminate some people but are pushing the real high spenders down to the bottom of the funnel. Dripping out of the bottom come the handful of people who so love your stuff they are prepared to spend thousands.
That’s the theory and for many businesses it works. However, in the past couple of years with the increased use of social media people are able to find out about the high ticket price items directly. In the past, Internet marketers could keep the bottom end of their funnel relatively well hidden, only revealing it to their prime customers. Nowadays, that is less easy than it was.
Plus, we are all much less patient than we were a few years ago. We want it NOW…! Our attention spans are also falling. The result is that people are much less prepared to go through a process to get to where they want to be. If they want a £10,000 coaching programme they’ll go straight to it these days. They haven’t got the patience to read your white paper first, then wait a couple of weeks before going on to your webinar, then waiting some more time before they can buy your book or waiting even more time for your one-day workshop. Indeed, by forcing people who know what they want into your sales funnel process you risk the possibility of losing them before they even reach what they really want to buy from you, simply because they are impatient and lack attention.
So, even though a sales funnel may work in many circumstances it is now a good idea to offer all your items within that funnel directly. That way the impatient lot online can get directly to what they want. They don’t have to join your list, wait for your autoresponders or spend additional money with you buying other stuff before they can get to what they want. If they really want your high ticket price item, just make it available. Indeed, thanks to social media those people who have already bought your bottom of the funnel items are talking about them anyway. If you don’t make these products and services available directly you could well miss out on potential sales.
The sales funnel is not dead yet; but it certainly needs a bit of surgery.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+